Plant protection products (PPP) can betransported from treated fields to surface waters via surface runoff during rain events. Potential risks for aquatic organisms due to surface runoff are assessed during the registration process for PPP, and risk mitigation measures are implemented if necessary. Currently, a vegetated buffer zone of 6 m width may be required as risk mitigation measure for surface runoff. Further options for risk mitigation of surface runoff that can be linked to PPP registration were evaluated at Agroscope on behalf of the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture. These options should effectively reduce the contamination of surface waters while minimizing impacts on agricultural productivity. The list of mitigation measures resulting from this project offers farmers the possibility to combine those measures that are best suited for their particular situation or those that are already implemented for other reasons (e.g., for erosion control). Besides vegetated buffer zones, these include e.g. conservation tillage, vegetated strips within the field and use of cover crops in orchards and vineyards
Agroscope has developed a scoring system for plant protection in vegetable crops. The system enables the creation of incentives for reducing the use and environmental risks of plant-protection products and promoting preventive and non-chemical measures.
Many consumer goods contain activated carbon, which can be contaminated with pollutants like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Agroscope showed that current analytical methods and legal bases used to address PAH content are incomplete.
Dry summers can see a loss of up to 25% of total Swiss roughage production. This is because grassland yields are strongly correlated with summer drought, as shown by a new analysis conducted by Agroscope and the Swiss Farmers’ Union.